Ready for Mexican-themed dinners? One of the key ingredients you’ll need is a chipotle paste, which is featured in almost all Mexican dishes!
This paste features smoked jalapenos with other dried chilies, bringing a unique spiciness and smokiness to your recipes. So, what can you do if you have none around?
There’s always a substitute for chipotle paste to save the day! We list down the best alternatives to this versatile seasoning, so read on!
What’s Chipotle Paste?
Chipotle paste refers to jalapenos that were dried, smoked, then made into a paste. I
t’s sometimes blended with other ingredients like tomatoes, garlic, onions, dried herbs, spices, and sugar, for its rich, sweet, and spicy taste.
- Fun fact: Chipotle chilies are made of dried red jalapenos, which have about 5,000 to 8,000 SHU. Not bad if you want a bit of spice but not too much!
The Best Chipotle Paste Alternatives
Don’t skip out on chipotle paste if your recipe requires it! If you run out or can’t find any at home or in the supermarket, use any alternative from our options below:
1. Ancho Chili Powder
Ancho chili powder is the best chipotle paste substitute. It’s made of poblano peppers and shares many characteristics with chipotle. They are both made of whole and dried, smoked peppers!
Ancho chili originates from the central Mexican state of Puebla, where chilies have grown even before the Aztec empire! Ancho chilies are also known as pasilla chiles in California, though these are actually two different chiles! (*)
That said, poblano chilies are milder than jalapenos, so expect a slightly milder flavor and spice when using ancho chili powder.
You may add a bit more of this powder as needed to achieve your desired taste.
2. Smoked Paprika
Chipotle paste has a smoky flavor, so expect smoked paprika to be an amazing chipotle paste substitute. (*)
It’s not only very easy to find in the supermarket (you probably already have it in your kitchen), but it provides the smokiness you’re after for your dishes.
But like ancho chili powder, smoked paprika is milder than chipotle paste, so it’s best to add a bit more.
You can also use a mix of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper for added spice.
Learn more: Best Paprika Substitute
3. Southwestern Sauce
Southwestern sauce is another amazing replacement, made from chipotle, lime juice, garlic, mustard, and mayo.
You can use the pepper or sauce version, which is perfect in salad dressings or sandwiches. This ingredient tastes similar to the chipotle sauce but may have a slightly creamier consistency from the mayo.
4. Chipotle in Adobo Sauce
Chipotle in adobo sauce is a fantastic chipotle paste substitute as it’s also popular and readily available in areas where Tex-Mex cuisine shines. After all, it’s made with chipotle peppers as well!
- Fun fact: Chipotles in adobo sauce are made of smoked and dried jalapenos that are then rehydrated and canned in a puree made of vinegar, tomatoes, garlic, and other spices.
The only thing you have to watch out for is the distinct tangly flavor that pairs with the smoky chili’s undertones. But even then, many people may appreciate the refreshing change.
Learn more: The Best Adobo Seasoning Substitutes
5. Chili Garlic Paste
If you have none of the ingredients above or want something with similar consistency, then using chili garlic paste to replace chipotle paste.
It’s readily available in supermarkets or already in your kitchen. While you get good heat from this paste, the flavor doesn’t match chipotle paste.
You only get a similar earthy flavor but not that smoky undertone. So, we only recommend this if you’re in a pinch!
6. Make Your Own Chipotle Paste
Yes, you can make your own!
Here are the ingredients to prepare:
- 20 chipotle chilies
- Two garlic cloves
- Juice from one lime
- One tablespoon of sugar
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- A pinch of ground cumin
- Water (as needed)
- One tablespoon of olive oil
- ½ teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
Follow these directions:
- Dry roast your chilies for a few minutes over medium heat with the oil and balsamic vinegar. Don’t let your chilies burn! If you want your paste less spicy, cut the stalk ends and shake the seeds off.
- Once cooked, cut your chilies with scissors, letting them soak in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain your chilies and rinse, removing the seeds if desired.
- Place your chilies and the rest of your ingredients in a chopper then blend until it’s a fine paste, adding water as needed.
- Pour your mixture into a jar and you’re done!
- Fun fact: Chipotle peppers have many health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure managing diabetes, protecting against heart disease, helping with respiratory conditions, and even aiding in weight loss!
Frequently Asked Questions
- Fun fact: Chipotle is also a name for a popular Mexican fast-food chain, and they are known for their delicious Mexican burritos and plates, sourcing ingredients from ethically-minded suppliers.
Wrapping It Up
Ever wondered why Tex-Mex cuisine is so addicting?
That’s thanks to its blend of spices and seasonings like chipotle paste! But if you have none in the kitchen, there’s always an excellent substitute for chipotle paste to use.